Adventures Outside of My Shell

I’ve been afraid of life itself for years now. Things that most people find mundane, to me, are like a Six Flags Roller coaster with no safety rails.

Today was different. Today was scary. I’m glad I had today.

I started off the day by parking in a different parking structure. And then I carried a bag of muffins to a Bible study that I led. I know, I can’t believe I tried to lead something either. It didn’t go like I planned. I wasn’t all smooth and eloquent like I thought I would be. I think I could have relief on God much more. Yet I would still consider it a success to some degree. For logistical reasons, I don’t know about the future of the group, but the future isn’t important, is it?

And then, after school, I got gas for the first time by myself, believe it or not. It really is kind of amazing. I drive over 200 miles a week… You would think I would find myself at a gas station from time to time. But anyway, I was very anxious about doing this. Let me explain why this is a big deal.

I hate gasoline. I fear gasoline. There, I said it. I don’t consider myself much of an environmentalist, but let me tell you, I dream of the day that cars will run on love and peace rather than fossil fuels. Why do I hate gasoline? Because it is what I consider a “chemical.” I hate chemicals. I avoid Windex like the plague. And don’t get me started on the photography class I took in high school. The dark room was a very dark room for me indeed.

I have other highly embarrassing stories about this, but I won’t go into them. I think we have established that I am a lunatic. And if this isn’t enough, now I have a somewhat rational reason to fear the gas station. All the three times I’ve gone, somehow, I’ve gotten either straight-up gasoline, miscellaneous gassy grease, or a dirt-bio-gas-bacteria mixture on my hands. Today was the dirt-bio-gas-mixture. It made me yearn for the pure gasoline. At least that came off with soap; this junk clung to my fingernails and wouldn’t come out until I stuck my finer in a lemon and wiggled it around violently. Has anyone else ever gotten this stuff on their hands? Everyone else seems to fill up their tank with such ease and style. Me? I still don’t know how to do it without pulling on the trigger. Seriously, I can’t figure out that tab locking thing on it. Maybe my hands get dirty because I just fumble gracelessly with the thing too much. Sometimes I seriously question my ability to survive in the real world. Well, at least I used diesel. Apparently, if my car doesn’t get diesel #2, it will burst into flames, and the world will just end. Or something like that.

I came reasonably close to rear-ending someone today. I also came close to hitting someone with my rear. And then, of course, I got flipped off (I think) when I actually wasn’t doing anything wrong. Go figure. But look, here I am, alive. I’m so glad I broke my routine. The routine was starting to hurt my soul.

I’m alive now, that’s what’s important. It’s not the fact that I fail at driving and performing simple tasks, or that I won’t be winning any best-Bible-study- leader awards. I may have almost died at least once, but what’s more important is that today I feel that I almost lived. Sometimes, we have to face our fears. And maybe eventually we’ll realize that nothing is so scary after all as long as we have God by our side.

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